Avnet preps services around HPE Synergy

Greg Peterson, vice president of Avnet’s HPE solutions business in the Americas

Greg Peterson, vice president of Avnet’s HPE solutions business in the Americas

HPE’s long-awaited Synergy won’t debut until later this year, but distributor Avnet Technology Solutions is already gearing up to help the channel make the composable infrastructure offering a reality for customers.

Synergy, first announced at HPE’s Discover event in London last December, promises to extend the ideas of software-defined everything and converged infrastructure, creating blocks of infrastructure that can be simply assigned and provisioned through code. Technology based on Synergy is slated to debut in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The distributor used the more-recent version of Discover, held in Las Vegas last week, to announce it’s preparing training, service and support to help solution providers offer their customers Synergy-based solutions when it comes to market, particularly in the Devops arena. Greg Peterson, vice president of Avnet’s HPE solutions business in the Americas, calls the technology one for which the time has come.

“You have end users trying to solve business problems, and they want to solve them in a different way than in the past — they want quicker deployment, less expensive solutions, with greater flexibility, and at the baseline, that’s what Synergy does.”

Jim Burdick, director of supplier solutions for HPE Solutions for the Americas at Avnet, said the company’s partners have been well positioned for Synergy’s launch, given the distributor’s focus on training and enablement around OneView over the recent past. While management of Synergy is slightly different, it is essentially based on OneView, making the management software a great starting place for Synergy.

“Synergy is just one more step along that path once they’ve got the OneView story down. It’s more flexible, and it’s down to the total infrastructure, but it’s an extension of what our partners have been focused on anyway,” Burdick said.

In many ways, the distributor paints a picture of continuum of composable infrastructure from HPE, starting to managing disparate systems through OneView, through its hyperconverged offerings, to Synergy, which promises to go a step or two further in terms of convergence and management. To Burdick, that suggests an opportunity to both introduce new customers intrigued by the idea of composable infrastructure, and to revisit existing customers — especially those already invested in HPE OneView of ConvergedSystem infrastructure — for a conversation around infrastructure strategy.

“We believe that the conversation with many customer will be around where they are in this journey of composability they sit with OneView, and where they see it going,” Burdick said.

Peterson said the distributor plans to fill a variety of roles for a variety of partners around Synergy. For those who are further down the DevOps strategy chain themselves, the distributor will offer “support in niche areas, and bench strength.” Some partners will seek the distributor’s support to temporarily fill bigger holes while they skill themselves up, also with Avnet’s help. And some others will seek the distributor’s support in larger areas on a more long-term basis.

The distributor is planning technical support and training, as well as resources, tools, and services around hybrid cloud automation and data centre migration, the distributor says. Avnet also announced plans to introduce connectors for HPE Operations Orchestration and HPE Cloud Service Automation, as well as offering services to quickly create connectors elsewhere for partners who don’t want to get into that coding themselves.

“We have a lot of partners really excited about this technology and what they’ll be able to do in their install base and with new customers,” Peterson said.

The launch of Synergy also shines a spotlight on the importance of DevOps and rapid application provisioning and deployment in the modern IT market. Peterson said that solution providers may have a variety of existing skillsets and experiences around DevOps, and may have different thoughts on how to move forward, but it’s rapidly becoming a reality of market demand, and partners who are in a “wait and see mode” may find themselves “in the most difficult position.”

“There’s no doubt this is where we’re headed, and you don’t want to be in a position where you have to play too much catch-up,” he said.

The services will be available to Avnet customers in Canada and the U.S. at the launch of Synergy later this year.